As fresh as it's ever looked with a great craft selection, whilst maintaining a folksy traditional vibe
The Mucky Duck Brighton
Thai food, folk, quizzes and an exceptional local craft beer range
The modern signage and green tiled frontage perfectly blends the history of this establishment, The Star Inn launched here in 1865, with a contemporary approach.
Step through the entrance and the pub spreads left and right more widely than the frontage might suggest. The space is furnished a combination of differently styled tables and chairs, as well as a leather sofa located in a dimly lit, cosy corner.
There’s a little yard beyond the sofa, but I doubt it gets the sun, and so it is pretty much just a smoking closet big enough for a couple of people to fit in at one time. Otherwise, the pub offers a couple of front benches, and on a sunny day this can actually be a great place to chat with a mate and watch the weird and wacky of Kemptown pass you by.
I remember The Mucky Duck always being a hit with students and the Open Mic Nights were pretty decent here in the 00s, however the place could be accused of feeling a bit dark and dank, plus the drinks options were really limited with Red Stripe about as exciting as it got.
Now this pub feels fresh, colourful even, and a trip to the bar is extremely exciting. On last visit we had the choice between 4 different local craft brewers, Cloak and Dagger, Unbarred, Lost Pier and Firebird, each with their own keg tap, plus Hand Brew Co. and Brighton Bier on the pumps. This is an exceptional range for a pub.
On the Thai menu you can get a starter and main dish for only £9 and I have heard rumours that the roasts here are very good. There’s live music, traditional folk in the main, on a Tuesday, plus a Quiz every Wednesday.
I feel like this pub might have finally completed a long re-orientation of itself, from a dusky, Harvey’s Best, Sky Sports and peanuts establishment, into a widely welcoming, craft-championing, modern pub space. There’s still a TV on one wall though and so big publicly broadcasted sporting occasions are still viewable here.
If there’s a downside at all, it’s that the loos are down some stairs below the main floor and I didn’t spot a disabled loo upstairs, so I’d say the pub is limiting for disabled access, but for a very old pub location this isn’t at all unique or surprising.